The freewheeling Donald Trump foreign policy tour hit a bit of a pothole last night, after it was reported that Trump spoke with the president of Taiwan, reversing almost 40 years of U.S. foreign policy.

According to the Financial Times, Trump spoke with Taiwanese president Tsai Ying-wen on Friday night, becoming the first American president to speak with a Taiwanese leader since 1979. The U.S.'s official policy regarding Taiwan has been known as the "One China" policy, recognizing the island as part of China, since Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China. Jimmy Carter then closed the U.S. embassy in Taipei in 1979. The phone call with Ying-wen is being seen, purposefully or not, as a provocation and challenge to China.

"Regardless if it was deliberate or accidental, this phone call will fundamentally change China’s perceptions of Trump’s strategic intentions for the negative. With this kind of move, Trump is setting a foundation of enduring mistrust and strategic competition for US-China relations,” Evan Medeiros, a former Asia director at the White House national security council told the Financial Times.

On Twitter, where Americans now have to look for clues to the Trump administration's thinking, Trump claimed that Ying-wen called him and suggested it would be rude to not accept a congratulatory phone call from someone we sell weapons to.

However, the Taipei Times reported that the phone call was set up by "Taiwan-friendly members" of Trump's staff. As to the question of whether this was an intentional act by Trump to tweak China, a spokesperson for the President-elect would only tell The Telegraph that of course Trump was aware of U.S. policy regarding Taiwan, which is comforting to know. In that same story, The Telegraph reported that while China's foreign minister characterized the phone call as "a small trick" by Taiwan, the Chinese government also issued a statement in which they said:

We have already made solemn representations about it to the relevant US side. It must be pointed out that there is only one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory.

We urge the relevant parties in the US to abide by the commitment to the one-China policy and to handle Taiwan-related issues with caution and care to avoid unnecessarily interfering with the overall situation of Sino-US relations

The call also comes on the heels of reports that Trump had been talking to foreign leaders without going over briefing materials from the State Department. It also happened just one day after Trump spoke with the prime minister of Pakistan, told him "Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people" and possibly angered India with his hints of visiting the country.

While it sounds like some world leaders might be adjusting themselves to learning to deal with Trump's off-the-cuff, loosey goosey speaking style, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut suggested that there's a danger to Trump flying by the seat of his pants:

And of course, no Trump story would be complete without it somehow tying into rumors about his business interests and potential conflicts of interest. In this case, there were reports in November that the Trump Organization was looking into opening a series of hotels in northwest Taiwan. A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization told the Times that there was no truth to the rumors of a project in Taiwan, though the Times also pointed out that a sales manager at Trump Hotels in charge of Asia posted a picture she took in Taiwan on her Facebook wall and said she was there for a work trip.

The good news, as we hurtle headlong into a potential diplomatic standoff with a country full of nuclear weapons, is that Donald Trump has never once displayed a careless attitude towards using our own nuclear arsenal.